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Gulfstream Park Releases Pegasus World Cup Invitees

Pegasus World Cup Turf
Colonel Liam goes for his third win in the Pegasus World Cup Turf at Gulfstream park. (Photo credit: Gulfstream Park).

Gold Square LLC’s Cyberknife, Karl Watson, Michael Pegram and Paul Weitman’s Defunded and Godolphin LLC’s Proxy top the first invitational list for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) presented by Baccarat at Gulfstream Park released Wednesday.

The 7th running of the Pegasus World Cup, a 1 1/8-mile stakes for 4-year-olds and up, will be featured on the Jan. 28 program at Gulfstream Park with the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), a 1 1/8-mile stakes for 4-year-olds and up, and the $500,000 Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G3), a 1 1/16-mile stakes for older fillies and mares on turf.

The first invitation list includes 12 of North America’s finest older horses, as well as a list of eight reserve invitees.

Cyberknife, a multiple Grade 1 stakes-winning son of 2018 Pegasus World Cup champion Gun Runner, was among the most prominent 3-year-olds of the 2022 racing season, during which the Kentucky-bred colt won the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park, and the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park. He most recently finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland, in which he finished a head behind winner Cody’s Wish.

Cyberknife, who is scheduled to make his final career start in the Pegasus before embarking on a stallion career, is trained by Brad Cox, who saddled Knicks Go for a victory in the 2021 Pegasus World Cup prior to 2021 Horse of the Year’s second-place finish last year behind Life Is Good.

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Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who saddled Arrogate for a Pegasus World Cup triumph in 2017, trains Defunded, a 4-year-old gelded son of Dialed In, who closed out the 2022 season with victories in the Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita and Native Diver (G3) at Del Mar.

Proxy, a 5-year-old son of Tapit, earned Grade 1 credentials in his 2022 finale in the Clark (G1) at Churchill Downs. The Godolphin homebred is trained by Michael Stidham.

C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable LLC’s White Abarrio, Gary Barber’s Get Her Number, Bruce Lundsford’s Art Collector, Jet Set Racing Stable’s Super Corinto and Fernando Vine Ode’s O’Connor are other Grade 1 or Group 1 winners on the invitational list for the Pegasus World Cup.

Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained White Abarrio has the distinction of being a Grade 1 winner at 1 1/8 miles over the main track at Gulfstream Park, having captured the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) in April. The 4-year-old son of Race Day, who also won the Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream, most recently finished third in the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct, beaten just a half-length by winner Mind Control.

Peter Miller-trained Get Her Number, who captured the 2020 American Pharoah at Santa Anita, was Grade 1 stakes-placed twice in 2022, including a runner-up finish in the Cigar Mile, finishing a half-length ahead of White Abarrio.

Bill Mott-trained Art Collector, who captured the 2021 Woodward (G1) at Belmont, successfully defended his Charles Town Classic (G2) title this year.

Amador Sanchez-trained Super Corinto and Joseph-trained O’Connor were both Group 1 winners in Chile this year who have been victorious at Gulfstream.

Joseph is also represented on the Pegasus World Cup invitation list by Daniel Alonso’s Skippylongstocking, the third-place finisher in the 2022 Belmont Stakes (G1). The 4-year-old son of Exaggerator claimed graded-stakes victories in the West Virginia Derby (G3) at Mountaineer Park and last Saturday’s Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream Park.

Steve Moger’s Stiletto Boy, a multiple Grade 1 stakes-placed son of Shackleford who finished third in last year’s Pegasus World Cup, made this year’s invitation list after winning the Californian (G2) this season for trainer Ed Moger Jr.

Tami Bobo’s Simplification is another on the Pegasus World Cup invitation list with experience at Gulfstream, having captured the 2022 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream. The Antonio Sano-trained son of Not This Time finished third in Saturday’s Harlan’s Holiday.

Willis Horton Racing LLC’s Last Samurai, who captured the Oaklawn Handicap (G2), represents Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas on the Pegasus World Cup invitational list.

Eight horses are on the list of reserve invitees, who may be invited to run in the Pegasus World Cup in the event one or more of the 12 invitees do not enter. The list (in alphabetical order): WSS Racing LLC’s Barber Road, the runner-up to Cyberknife in the Arkansas Derby (G1); Mark Breen’s Endorsed, who finished fourth in last year’s Pegasus World Cup; Dream Team One Racing Stable’s Hoist the Gold, who finished third in the Malibu (G1) at Santa Anita last time out; Twin Creeks Racing Stables LLC’s Law Professor, who finished second behind Life Is Good in the Woodward (G1); David Raim’s Muad’dib, a winner of 12 of 14 career starts and second-place finisher in the Charles Town Classic (G2); Rustlewood Farm Inc.’s Pappacap, a multiple Grade 1 stakes-placed son of Gun Runner trained by Hall of Famer Mark Casse; Sumaya U. S. Stable’s Pioneer of Medina, a runner-up to Skippylongstocking in the Harlan’s Holiday for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, who saddled Life Is Good for a victory in last year’s Pegasus World Cup; Cash Is King LLC and LC Racing LLC’s Ridin With Biden, who won the Greenwood Cup (G3) at Parx.

Colonel Liam Tops Pegasus Turf List

Two-time defending champion Colonel Liam and fellow Grade 1 winners Decorated Invader, Ivar, Shirl’s Speight and Speaking Scout are among a dozen horses on the first invitation list for the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park.

The 1 1/8-mile Pegasus Turf for 4-year-olds and up is among eight stakes, seven graded, worth $5.3 million in purses co-headlined by the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) presented by Baccarat and $500,000 Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf Invitational (G3).

Robert and Lawana Low’s Colonel Liam, trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, returned from nine months between starts to run sixth in the Dec. 31 Fort Lauderdale (G2) at Gulfstream in his Pegasus prep. The 6-year-old son of Liam’s Map was a neck winner over Largent in the 2021 Pegasus and beat another of his stablemates, Never Surprised, by a length in last year’s edition.

Colonel Liam Wins the 2022 Pegasus World Cup Turf

Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Speaking Scout exits a three-quarter-length victory in the 1 1/8-mile Hollywood Derby (G1) Dec. 3 at Del Mar, his second stakes triumph and first in graded company. The 4-year-old Mr Speaker gelding was a five-length winner of the 1 1/8-mile Hawthorne Derby Oct. 1 and ran second by a half-length to fellow Pegasus invitee Cabo Spirit in the Oct. 29 Twilight Derby (G2) at Santa Anita.

Charles Fipke’s Shirl’s Speight is a multiple graded-stakes winner that went over the $1 million mark in purse earnings with his runner-up finish in the Nov. 5 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Keeneland. The 6-year-old son of Speightstown, trained by Hall of Famer Roger Attfield, rallied for a nose victory in the Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) last April.

Fourth in the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Mile, beaten a length, was Bonne Chance Farm and Stud R D I’s Ivar, a Brazilian-bred 7-year-old that won a pair of Group 1 races in Argentina before coming to the U.S. He won the 2020 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland in his fourth domestic start and also ran second in the 2022 Turf Mile at Keeneland and Woodbine Mile (G1).

West Point Thoroughbreds, William Freeman, William Sandbrook and Cheryl Manning’s Decorated Invader captured the 2019 Summer (G1) on the Woodbine turf as a 2-year-old and went on to score in the Pennine Ridge (G2) and National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2) in 2020. The 6-year-old returned last fall after more than a year away and has run four times, most recently finishing second in the Fort Lauderdale.

The Fort Lauderdale was the third consecutive stakes win for Decorated Invader’s Christophe Clement-trained stablemate, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Peter and Patty Searles’ City Man, also among the list of invitees. The 6-year-old son of Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Mucho Macho Man has won eight career stakes including the Forbidden Apple (G3) last summer at Saratoga.

Completing the initial invitation list are Dicey Mo Chara, coming out of a half-length triumph in the 1 1/8-mile San Gabriel (G2) Dec. 26 at Santa Anita; Masteroffoxhounds, who earned his second career Grade 2 score in Santa Anita’s John Henry Turf Championship going 1 ¼ miles Oct. 1; Master Piece, winner of the Eddie Read (G2) and second in the Del Mar Handicap (G2); Who’s the Star, riding a three-race win streak in the Durham Cup (G3), Autumn (G2) and Valedictory (G3) on Woodbine’s all-weather surface; and 2022 Bay Shore (G3) winner Wit, third by less than a length in the Hollywood Derby.

Repole Stables’ Never Surprised is among 11 horses on the reserve invite list, having run second in an optional claiming allowance Dec. 17 at Tampa Bay Downs off a similar nine-month gap as Colonel Liam. The 5-year-old Constitution horse is a three-time stakes winner including the 2021 Tropical Park Derby at Gulfstream.

In Love, Ivar’s Paulo Lobo-trained stablemate, is another Brazilian-bred Argentine import that won the Keeneland Turf Mile (G1) in 2021 and comes out of a three-quarter-length triumph in the 1 1/16-mile Prairie Bayou over Turfway Park’s all-weather surface Dec. 17.

Along with Shirl’s Speight on the main list, Fipke and Attfield also have Lady Speightspeare on the reserve list. The 5-year-old mare owns four career graded-stakes wins – the 2020 Natalma (G1) and 2022 Nassau (G2), Trillium (G3) and Seaway (G3), all at Woodbine. She exits a third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) Nov. 5 at Keeneland.

The reserve list also features Atone, fourth by less than a length in the 2021 Pegasus Turf; 2022 Louisville (G3) winner Cellist; Dark Shift, winner of the Royal Hunt Cup last summer at Royal Ascot; multiple graded-stakes placed Good Governance, fourth last out in the Fort Lauderdale; Hurricane Dream, group-stakes placed four times in Europe yet to race in the U.S.; 2022 Knickerbocker (G3) winner King Cause; Law Professor, a Grade 2 winner on dirt that won the Tapit on the turf at Kentucky Downs last fall; and Street Ready, third in the Fort Lauderdale.

Pegasus Turf First Invitational List:

Cabo Spirit
City Man
Colonel Liam
Decorated Invader
Dicey Mo Chara
Master Piece
Shirl’s Speight
Speaking Scout
Who’s the Star

Pegasus Turf Reserve List (in alphabetical order):

Dark Shift
Good Governance
Hurricane Dream
In Love
King Cause
Lady Speightspeare
Law Professor
Never Surprised
Street Ready

Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf Invitees

Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables LLC and Robert LaPenta’s Shantisara, Team Valor International and Gary Barber’s Wakanaka, and Bal Mar Equine LLC’s Dalika are prominent on the invitation list released Wednesday for the $500,000 Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf Invitational (G3).

The Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for older fillies and mares, will be featured on the Jan. 28 program at Gulfstream Park, co-headlined by the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), a 1 1/8-mile stakes for 4-year-olds and up, and the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), a 1 1/18-mile stakes for 4-year-olds and up on turf.

Twelve fillies and mares are on the first invitation list for the Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf, while there are five on the list of reserve invitees.

Shantisara, who earned Grade 1 credentials while winning the 2021 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Keeneland, is trained by Chad Brown, who saddled Regal Glory for a victory in the 2022 Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf. The 5-year-old Irish import finished second behind Regal Glory in the Jenny Wiley (G1) at Keeneland in her 2022 debut before being sidelined for seven months. She returned to finish and even fifth in the Nov. 5 Fall Harvest at Keeneland.

Wakanaka, who is trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, captured the Fall Harvest to conclude a productive 2022 season that included a victory in the Dance Smartly (G2) at Woodbine and a runner-up finish behind Regal Glory in the Just a Game (G1) at Belmont.

Al Stall Jr.-trained Dalika, a hard-hitting 7-year-old daughter of Pastorius, earned Grade 1 credentials with a victory in the Beverly D. (G1) at Churchill Downs in August and also won the Ladies Turf (G3) at Kentucky Downs and the Cardinal (G3) at Churchill.

Bobby Flay’s Pizza Bianca, the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner, is also prominent on the invitation list. The 4-year-old daughter of Fastnet Rock has returned to trainer Christophe Clement after finishing third in the Matriarch (G1) at Del Mar and fifth in the American Oaks (G1) at Santa Anita.

Trainer Michael McCarthy, who saddled City of Light for a victory in the 2019 Pegasus World Cup (G1), is represented on the invitation list for the Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber’s Queen Goddess. The 5-year-old daughter of Empire Maker, who captured the 2021 American Oaks (G1), won the Santa Ana (G3) and the Robert J. Frankel (G3) in 2022.

Charles Fipke’s Lady Speightspeare, who finished third behind Regal Glory and Shantisara in the Jenny Wiley went on to win three graded stakes in a row at Woodbine in the Nassau (G2), Trillium (G3) and Seaway (G3) before finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) at Keeneland. Hall of Famer Roger Attfield trains the 5-year-old daughter of Speightstown.

Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey is represented by Andrew Rosen’s Skims and Annette Allen’s Stolen Holiday on the Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare invitation list. Skims, a 4-year-old daughter of Frankel, won the Sands Point (G2) at Belmont before finishing a troubled fifth in the American Oaks at Santa Anita. Stolen Holiday, a 6-year-old daughter of War Front, has won two graded stakes in her last three starts, including Saturday’s Suwannee River (G3) at Gulfstream.

Augustin Stable and Catherine Parke’s Sparkle Blue, who was beaten by less than a length in the American Oaks after winning the Valley View (G3) at Keeneland, represents trainer Graham Motion on the invitational list.

Lazy F Ranch’s Gam’s Mission, who was saddled for a victory in the Mint Julep (G3) at Churchill Downs by Cherie DeVaux; and Kenneth Ramsey and the Estate of Sarah Ramsey’s Artie’s Princess, the winner of the Presque Isle Masters (G2) trained by Saffie Joseph Jr.; are also invited to compete in the second running of the Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

The list of reserve invitees (in alphabetical order) includes Stephen Screnci, Deters Company Frank Taylor’s Kate’s Kingdom, Steven Parkin’s Lady Rockstar, Georg D. Morgan’s Perserverancia, CHP Racing’s Saffron Moon and La Providencia LLC and LNJ Foxwoods’ Scotish Star.